PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Senate this week passed and sent to the House a pair of bills intended to cut off benefits to illegal aliens in Pennsylvania.

One bill passed by the Senate would require proof of citizenship or legal presence to receive welfare, food stamps, medical assistance or any other public benefits in Pennsylvania.

“Just to ensure that taxpayer funded benefits are going to those people who are actually eligible to receive the benefits. There is obviously a limited pool of tax dollars,” says Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Senate Republicans.

Arneson says this bill is similar to a measure passed by the Senate in the last session that was never taken up by the House, which was then controlled by Democrats.

In the current session, the outcome may be different, with the GOP controlling both chambers. The Senate also has sent to the House a bill that would require employers with state contracts to use the federal “E-Verify” database to make sure their workers are in the country legally.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio

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